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Julie Darling Named 'San Diego Magazine' Woman of the Year

Plus four other women are recognized at the 13th annual Celebrating Women event


From left: Arcolia Rains, Claudia Mowery, Aliza Carpio, Julie Darling, and Stephanie Ortega | Photo: Kambria Fischer

San Diego Magazine held its 13th annual Celebrating Women event on September 25, 2018, atop the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego, recognizing five women who have excelled in their respective fields of accomplishment.

More than 300 women were nominated and only half qualified as finalists for the esteemed honor, presented by Wells Fargo, with trophies donated by Tiffany & Co. and in benefit of Junior League San Diego. Janice Brown, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation’s Board Chair and Founding Partner at Brown Law Group, delivered an upbeat keynote at the event.

“The women of San Diego hold a special place for us at SDM,” said Erin Meanley Glenny, editor in chief. “More and more women are coming into leadership roles in our community, and SDM is honored to recognize these truly remarkable and inspiring women. All of the nominees here tonight work tirelessly for their causes and are changing lives—they are all incredibly deserving of this recognition and we are proud to offer them our support.”

And, now without further ado…


The 2018 Industry Leader Award went to…

Aliza Carpio of Intuit. As Intuit's Tech Evangelist, she works with Intuit leaders and engineering teams to create an amazing tech culture at Intuit. A Tech Women @Intuit leader, Carpio is passionate about growing early career tech talent and creates programs that help them invest in their craft. Outside of work, she gives her time to help female-led micro businesses with their social strategy. Finally, she established a library in her mom's birthplace in the Philippines.

The Industry Leader Award recognizes an individual who has successfully executed on a strategy and transformed their business line or brand and, in turn, had a positive influence on others by working for causes near and dear to her heart.


The 2018 Military Service Leadership Award went to…

Arcolia Rains of the US Navy. Command Master Chief Rains is a successful leader in a challenging military organization of more than 260 personnel and 14 military aircraft. She oversees the 38 command programs responsible for the welfare and good order and discipline of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two One. She is a critical member of the Command Triad, made up of the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, and Command Master Chief.

The Military Service Leadership Award recognizes a woman who has been on active military duty and inspires others with their vision, leadership and achievement.


The 2018 Nonprofit Visionary Award went to…

Stephanie Ortega of Promises2Kids. Ortega has been with Promises2Kids for 12 years. She has followed many of the organization's Guardian Scholars students throughout their educational experiences and manages all of Promises2Kids programs. Her achievements include growing the Guardian Scholars program from approximately 30 to now 125 foster youth pursuing higher education each year and creating and implementing the Junior Guardian Scholars to ensure foster youth in high school are provided the same education and career exposure all high schoolers receive.

Presented by ESET, the Nonprofit Visionary Award honors an outstanding individual for their impactful service and special contributions to their community, civic or charitable organizations.


The 2018 Rising Star Award went to…

Claudia Mowery of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. As the first woman Technical Director/Chief Engineer for GA-ASI leading a key U.S. Air Force development program, Mowery’s team of more than 100 engineers has successfully navigated a formal preliminary design review and critical design review with the USAF, enabling a new ground control station to field advanced capabilities for the service that will enhance the combat effectiveness of its entire remotely piloted aircraft

This Rising Star Award is designed for women making a mark at early stages in their careers.


And the 2018 Woman of the Year Award went to…

Julie Darling of the US Navy. Now serving as the Critical Care Specialty leader of the Navy's most highly deployed clinical specialty—she’s directed the oversight of clinical competency and deployments for 271 USN Critical Care Nurses—Commander Darling provides vision and leadership not only for Critical Care Nurses worldwide but for the future in Navy medicine. She works tirelessly to ensure the future of the specialty, for retention, for wartime needs, for training and clinical sustainment. Conclusively, Darling is a skilled clinician and change agent for the Critical Care Department, with responsibility for improved patient outcomes and resource utilization in patient care, nursing, and systems.

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